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Sue Limb - Author

About the Author

Her passions, apart from her writing include natural history, horticulture and agriculture, travel, architecture, music, politics and painting. Sue’s fictional creations have become inspirational to children and teenagers all over the world, providing hours of entertainment curled up on the sofa and no shortage of chit chat in the playground and the common room as well.


For 7+ year olds there’s:
ruby rogersRUBY ROGERS - Ruby wants to be a gangster when she grows up. Not a horrid violent one, obviously - more a kind of female Robin Hood living in the treetops, preferably with a troupe of monkeys, a species Ruby adores. Her human family consists of a teasing eccentric older brother Joe, a Geography teacher father who has no sense of direction, and a midwife mum who regularly falls asleep on the sofa instead of providing lavish suppers. Ruby's best friend Yasmin is a Muslim, though not so you'd notice. Yasmin loves dolls and clothes and is shrewd about relationships. She and Ruby have a fiery but devoted friendship and through Yasmin's older sister Zerrin, Ruby gets to know Holly Helvellyn, Gothic eccentric and Ruby's ultimate role model.


For 12+ year olds there’s:
zoe and choleZOE AND CHLOE Chloe and Zoe are best friends, unless there are boys around, of course in which case it’s every girl for herself. Deliciously comedic, the obsessions, embarrassments, disasters and joys of teen life are captured with pitch-perfect comic timing.


As well as:
GIRL, 15... Life can be trying when your best friend is a goddess, you are a woeful underachiever, and your love-life is as messy and as mucky as a sticky quagmire of mud. Painfully spot on, the Girl... series reveals with Technicolor precision the agony and the ecstasy (and the embarrassment) of being a teenager. With razor-sharp observation and deadpan humour we are offered a privileged peek at the life of Jess, charming, but most definitely insane. This series has a unique voice and humour that will make you want to read it again and again - if you can bring yourself to put the books down in the first place.

 

A Q & A with Sue Limb

Q. Where do you get inspiration from?
A. Everyday life: things I overhear on buses, embarrassing memories from my own teenage years, books I like (Jane Austen sometimes). As you go through life all your experiences form a kind of compost heap and sometimes something beautiful grows out of it. And sometimes something ugly!

Q. Is it better to write about things you know or write from imagination?
A. I always set my books in places familiar to me. Otherwise it would be like taking an exam in Physics without ever opening a textbook! I admire writers such as Philip Pullman and J.K. Rowling who can let their imaginations fly into the most amazing fantasy. But I do like my own arena: everyday comedy.

Q. Do you write for you or for an imaginary reader?
A. I think I write to amuse myself and to keep myself interested in a character. I’m always delighted and rather surprised when I hear from readers that they’ve enjoyed a book. When I was younger, if I was stuck with a book I used to imagine I was writing it as a kind of letter to amuse somebody I fancied. I suppose this would make me pull out all the stops and try my very best to impress! But nowadays I have become a bit more chilled out about life. I don't get wild crushes these days, although sometimes I dream that famous old men are kind to me…(Bill Clinton, David Attenborough, if you really want to know.)

Q. What do you come up with first the plot or the characters?
A. If a character is interesting, and she or he has a plan or an agenda, and then obstacles crop up which interfere with the plan, the plot will take care of itself.

Q. How do you plan a story?
A. Sometimes I just have a character with an ambition - the ambition can be very minor - and then just take it from there. I think it's always useful to have surprises in a story - somebody behaving very differently from normal because of a secret reason....

Q. Should you know the end before you start writing?
A. No! I never do. Many writers feel their characters take over and grab the steering wheel! I've only just completely rewritten a book (Zoe and Chloe: Out to Lunch) because the outline I had originally sketched out didn't work, and I realised I had to start at the beginning again and move one of the characters across a whole continent so he could participate in the story more.

Q. What do you think is the essence of a good story?
A. It should unfold with surprises, grip you and involve you. The character or characters should be interesting people you would like to meet. You should, when reading it, be unaware of your immediate surroundings and find the book really hard to put down.

Q. Who should you ask to read over your work and take advice from?
A. If you're still at school, your English teacher. I have editors at my publishers who do that kind of thing for me. My daughter (who is 22 so was recently a teenager) offers helpful advice when she thinks my choice of words is too old-fashioned.

Q. What is the first step to getting your work published?
A. Send it to publishers and agents, and if it keeps getting rejected, just keep on sending it.

Q. How should you present your work to publishers?
A. Follow the advice in The Writers and Artists' Yearbook. Always present your manuscript double spaced and only on one side of the paper!

Q. What’s the best advice anyone has given you in your writing career?
A. "Give your characters difficulties and don't try too hard to be funny all the time." Oh – and never stop reading, and as you read, notice how other writers are working.

Featured books by Sue Limb

Other books by Sue Limb

Girls to Total Goddesses Girls to Total Goddesses in Seven Days

Girls to Total Goddesses Girls to Total Goddesses in Seven Days

Author: Sue Limb Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/07/2009

Zoe and Chloe have a mission: to transform themselves into goddesses in seven days (or thereabouts anyway - eight if they need the extra time). But who for? Zoe has a horrible dilemma. Having hated the horrible Beast for making Chloe's life a misery, Zoe has now realised that all was not as it seemed. When Beast came to both their rescue, Zoe's heart was completely overturned. But Zoe has told him she never wants to see him again. And how can she get him back without upsetting Chloe? And - more importantly - how can she compete with the gorgeous new girl on the scene, Charlie, with her trim hips, speckly eyes, fabulous mascara and tawny skin? The Goddess Project just got even more complicated ...

Girl, (Nearly) 16: Absolute Torture

Girl, (Nearly) 16: Absolute Torture

Author: Sue Limb Format: eBook Release Date: 10/07/2007

Just when things were going so well.Jess had the perfect summer planned: She and Fred, lounging in the park, gazing into one anothers eyes and engaging in witty repartee. It was going to be so romantic. And then her maddening mum stepped in: She suddenly announced a two-week road trip to Cornwall to visit Jesss dad, something Jess might have enjoyed, actually, were it not for the monstrously bad timing. Not only will this force Jess and Fred apart for two whole weeks, it will also leave the darling and handsome Fred in the clutches of Jesss blindingly beautiful best friend, Florawho, you might recall, expressed an interest in Fred not too long ago. As if all this werent enough, Jesss mum seems to expect her to weep at the grave of every departed literary hero in Britains long history. Its absolute torture. And little does Jess know, a huge surprise awaits her when she visits her dad at his home for the first time in years.From the Hardcover edition.

Girl, 15, Flirting for England

Girl, 15, Flirting for England

Author: Sue Limb Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2007

Jess is in a fix. She has to write a letter to Edouard, her French exchange, before he comes to visit, and her normal ability to write charismatic, charming and seductive letters has deserted her. But there is an even worse problem. She has to send a photo. The idea fills Jess with a special sort of fear. But she has a solution - a digitally enhanced solution - and who better to ask to help than her best mate Fred! Fans will lap up this prequel as it charts Fred and Jess's relationship - and Jess's relationships with others - before Fred and Jess actually get together. The whole book sparkles with Sue Limb's characteristic wit and humour, and will send fans racing to read the rest of the books in the series.

Girl, 15, Charming But Insane

Girl, 15, Charming But Insane

Author: Sue Limb Format: eBook Release Date: 17/10/2006

Life was tragic enough before this spring started. With a distinct lack of boobage and an arse so big that birds of prey could nest within its shadows, Jess Jordan is saddled with the Goddess Flora for a best friend, a Britney Spears look-alike so gorgeous that one grain of her divine dandruff could make the blind see again. Jess knows that her soul mate is Ben Jones, a divine mixture of Leonardo DiCaprio, Prince William, and Brad Pitt who oozes mystery and charisma. But the campaign to get Ben to notice her brings on a cavalcade of mortification and disaster, including, but not limited to, a minestrone soup explosion that takes place in her bra and a schoolwide viewing of a videotape that features a topless Jess referring to her breasts as ';Bonnie' and ';Clyde.' Meanwhile, Jess's death-obsessed granny moves into her bedroom, along with her grandfather's remains; her hypochondriac dad, who sends her daily ';horrorscopes' like ';You will fall asleep with your mouth open, and a family of earwigs will move in,' acts strange about Jess staying with him this summer; and her longtime friend Fred, a television violence addict and closet thumbsucker, has decided that he can't stand being around her. Jess is determined to make things right . . . but with her offbeat sense of humor and her wildly active imagination, things get complicated along the way.

Girl 16: Pants on Fire

Girl 16: Pants on Fire

Author: Sue Limb Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/04/2006

Jess and Fred are finally an 'item'. They have spent the remainder of their summer holidays just as they planned to, creating some fabulous comedy routines together. Until one fateful morning in the park just before term starts when Fred casually mentions that he is not sure that he wants to go out with Jess any more. Jess is outraged! As ever, Sue Limb's narrative is fresh, funny and effervescent, simultaneously capturing the agonies, the indecisions, the wrong moves, the misunderstandings that are all part of a first-ever relationship. This novel is a brilliantly engrossing read.

Girl (Nearly) 16: Absolute Torture

Girl (Nearly) 16: Absolute Torture

Author: Sue Limb Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/04/2005

Disaster! Jess tried to hide her horror. Her mum frowned. 'What's wrong, sweetheart? It's what you've always wanted!' Jess's mum has finally capitulated and arranged a trip to see Jess's dad. But this is so the wrong moment: Jess has just got it together with Fred, and in an incredibly romantic way he has scraped money together to get them both tickets to the hottest music festival but instead Jess is going on a road trip with her mum and her grandmother (and her grandfather, but he doesn't quite count as he is ashes in an urn). Jess is keen to keep in touch with Fred by text while she is away, but after a while he just stops responding. And her best friend Flora is now going to the exact same music festival Jess was supposed to go to! Jess can't help her paranoia about Fred working overtime. If Jess isn't careful, her worries are going to completely spoil her much-wanted visit to her dad. But when she gets there, it turns out that everybody has a surprise for each other. Needless to say, some work out better than others In this sequel Sue Limb has surpassed herself. The writing is still fresh, funny and effervescent, but at the same time Sue has captured the difficult, prickly but above all loving relationship between a daughter and her parents.

Girl, 15, Charming But Insane

Girl, 15, Charming But Insane

Author: Sue Limb Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/05/2004

Girl, 15, Charming but Insane, huge bum, massive ears, seeks - well, seeks Ben Jones, but failing that, large Muslim-type burka garment to cover her deformities. Life can be trying when your best friend is a goddess, you are a woeful underachiever, and Ben Jones won't even look in your direction. Painfully spot on, Girl 15 reveals with Technicolor precision the agony and the ecstasy (and the embarrassment) of being a teenager. With razor-sharp observation and deadpan humour we are offered a privileged peek at the life of Jess, 15, charming, but most definitely insane. This novel has a unique voice and humour that will make you want to read it again and again - if you can bring yourself to put it down in the first place.